REFEREE Ryan Smith’s “flippant” response to turning up late for Worcester City’s match on Saturday certainly irked manager Ashley Vincent.

City’s 1-1 draw at South Normanton Athletic began 32 minutes late with no sign of Smith until 3.25pm for a match that had been scheduled to start at 3pm.

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Both assistants had made it in good time and began to liaise with officials of both clubs with no one able to get hold of Smith.

Each club had reluctant volunteers who are qualified match officials waiting in the wings, including City fan and supporters’ trust director Richard Widdowson.

Smith then contacted the host club to say he would be there to begin proceedings at 3.30 and it was agreed kick-off would be delayed rather than starting with a member of the crowd on the line.

Asked whether Smith had explained his situation, Vincent replied: “Well you say half an hour late, I have it down as the kick-off was half an hour late.

“Without being funny, referees, teams and officials get to the game at 1.30 so you know you’re there. For me, he was two hours late.

“He did not explain why and was a bit flippant about it. To be honest I thought his timekeeping affected his performance.

“If I turn up late or my players turn up late we have to be held accountable, it is just a shame it doesn’t always work that way for everyone in football.”

Smith cited family reasons for his late arrival and declined to comment further when asked by the Worcester News after the game.